Heatwave helps Toyota

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Bondholder Toyota has said that the prolonged heatwave has helped its Derbyshire factory build thousands of vehicles - by harnessing the power of the sun.

Back in 2011, the Japanese firm installed a huge solar array at its Burnaston factory in order to generate energy that would help power production.

This summer, thanks to the recent long spell of clear, sunny weather, its solar panels have harvested more energy than usual, helping it to build thousands of vehicles.

Seven years ago the firm, which builds the Auris and Avensis at the Derbyshire plant, worked with British Gas to install the thousands of solar panels at the site.

In total, 16,800 solar panels were put in place covering an area of 90,000 square metres - the equivalent of 14 football pitches.

According to Toyota, the amount of power they generate each year - four megawatts - is enough to brew 150 million cups of tea.

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The solar array at Toyota's Burnaston factory covers the equivalent of 14 football pitches

The company also built a tower, containing 44 solar panels, at the entrance to the factory works.

The installation of solar power at Burnaston is part of Toyota’s mission to create sustainable factories and reduce its impact on the environment.

Known as the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, the company is aiming to achieve zero emissions from manufacturing.

At Burnaston, the solar-generated power produced each year is enough to build 7,000 vehicles.

In a statement, Toyota said: “At Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) we have seen unprecedented levels of sunshine at our Burnaston factory helping contribute to the generation of solar energy for our factories.

“In total, solar provides around 5% of our site electricity, helping us work towards our 2050 Challenge of zero emissions from manufacturing.